2006-01-10

Make it Up

I need someone to hold me but I'll wait for something more.

Nobody speaks the truth like George Michael.

Because not only do I have faith, but I am becoming professionally faithful during what has become a very long navigation through a sea of the predictable crap that comes with men my age. They don't know who they are, want you to be what you're not, and never believe you when you see through the lines, thus causing them to try that much harder to sell you with honest "confessions".
“There’s only one girl I ever loved and she broke my heart. You remind me of her.”
“Comfort me – I’m hurting because I hurt you.”
“I was drunk.”

These would be valid if they were used sparingly but by the age of 31, I have heard so many combinations and permutations of those three excuses from every guy with whom I’ve become involved and frankly, it’s the same shit my friends hear.
I’ve literally become impervious to these statements. That’s sad because they actually have some validity and some effect when they aren’t over-used for clichéd “soothing.”

Give me something new, huh? Give me effort instead of a speech. Give me a good laugh at how stupid fighting is – pull my ponytail to get my undivided attention, or do a mocking, interpretive dance in your underwear to show me that you can't stand my frailties.
But for crying out loud, don’t give me all the shit I’ve had before because that stuff?

It's boring. I know what you want me to say after you say that you were hurt in the past. I know what will be considered manipulative if you want me to respond to your “comfort me, I've hurt you” plea. I have no patience for “I was drunk” because that’s my line.
And since I am ethical, I only use it when I do something like karaoke REO Speedwagon when there is no karaoke at the bar that night, or when I throw my shoes out of the window of the cab because they were really hurting my feet all night. I'll never justify a fight on the basis of "I was drunk" but I will try to justify the volume and the profanity that I chose to use... and yes, there's a MASSIVE difference.
Even during the rare occasion that I drink and exhibit a less-pleasant emotion than the giggles would indicate, I don’t purposefully and knowingly hurt feelings until much, much later when I've been insulted to the point where my dignity will be questioned, post-fight.
Why?

Because I am over that way of acting and I no longer feel like picking fights because it’s almost bar time, or because it would be a good time to fight since I can wake up the next day and look at you and go, “I’m sorry about last night, babe. I was really drunk.”
I think that when people do that, they're cowering behind Jim Beam. While I am, admittedly, generally an idiot and often self-limiting when I describe my capabilities, I’m not a coward and you can take that to the bank.

I’ve never been a woman to build a boyfriend and I never will be. Two reasons: First, I can barely raise my dog, let alone try to get the desired behavioral response from a guy. I have no fear that I will be one of those women who is raising children and a husband – I’d rather have a little bit of a cooler relationship; one with some distance and autonomy, than have one where I spend my thirties and forties having to hold his hand when he demands it, have his babies when they come along, and listen to his diatribes about what’s wrong with me. Every American woman knows that men who are picking on you for anything like being condescending, being rude, or being assertive are only doing so because you are out-shining them and making them feel like they’ve been emasculated. Confidence isn’t arrogance and I’ve yet to find a dude, who doesn’t dress like a girl, who understands that - let alone the one or two who seek it and treasure it.

“You talk down to me.”
You wouldn’t think so if you got the joke.
“You interrupt me and that’s rude.”
That’s not rude, that’s participation. Watch, it’s how grown-ups interact. We trust that something valuable is going to be added to an interesting discussion and if we feel cut off? We cut back in to finish what we say. In kindergarten, people might have to ask permission to speak. In jail, people might have to ask permission to speak. At a party, people move around each other and go in, out, over, under, and laugh and smile and take responsibility for their own feelings and their own actions, not those related to their date’s.
“You turned up the radio while I was talking.”
You were talking about how much you like the song that was playing.
"You sound like your mother."
You've never met my mother. (And this is where I start laughing maniacally because the sick and twisted part of me knows that if my mother were to be involved, a wrath of mythic proportions would be poised to befall the unsuspecting idiot and I might even feel a *little* sorry for the bastard.) Instead, I reply to him in the coldest voice that I have and from the depth of my chest that IF I was my mother, he would not exist to me.
Oh snap!

The second reason that I don't buy into Boyfriend Building is that I completely believe that someday, I am going to meet a guy who is actually is confident enough in his intelligence to not be intimidated by mine, and who is secure enough in his self-awareness to be open to mine.
That’s the guy who would really be in love with me, the way I have found that love can be.
I know – you’re laughing.
And probably for a number of reasons, the first of which is “good fucking luck”. Quit pointing at me while you laugh.
The second of which is “I know how you are and you never hold out.” Hey. I haven’t ever gotten stupid and gotten married, or gotten pregnant, or done anything more impetuous than plan for a year to move across the country to sever a tie that probably needed to be severed years before I actually left.
Have a lot of faith in me.

By the same token, have you not figured out by now that I know my infatuations and fleeting excitements - my general heart-jumping-up-and-down … that’s all they are? So many times, I’m excited about someone but I know the hand that I’m holding and I’m not deluded into believing that my trysts are lasting, heart-centered connections. It’s fun to pretend and to try things out but come on you guys…
My heart’s not really in it every time and my heart’s not really broken every time.
I can own that.
I can also own that it’s absolutely true that I REALLY crave to meet a life partner. While I’m craving that, I am going to be trying people on, bringing them home, asking what you think, and gauging your reaction.
But I know what love feels like. I’ve been in love two times – once with a man who I still look back at and think about as the road not taken, who I think back to and wonder at how close I was to taking that road. The other love was with a person who treated me with more respect and more integrity than I thought was possible in a relationship.
And since that second one was really more Laverne and Shirley than say… Lucy and Ricky, I’m open to hearing tell that mutual respect in a male/female relationship is actually NOT possible.
And yet I dream, I do dream.

So.
Boy trouble?
Look no further because I will commiserate and probably make you feel like much less of a tool.
Here’s the thing, ladies and gay brethren:
Boys are stupid.
You are not.
As long as you keep yourself clear on those two things, someday, you will find a boy who’s not stupid – one who knows how to treasure you – and once you find that, regardless of the form in which it appears, you won’t go back to the nit-picking micro-economics of a Dr. Phil relationship. You’ll make your own rules with your own partner that make sense to the two of you; that make both of you feel like old excuses sounds hollow and the old carriage feels out-dated.

Good luck out there.

arizonasarah at 11:40 a.m.

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